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Domestic Violence in Polk County

Crimes of violence can be classified as “domestic violence” when they involve:

  • a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of jurisdiction; or
  • any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person under the domestic or family violence laws in Florida.

These crimes of violence involve allegations that the act caused fear for a person’s safety or caused physical or psychological injury, pain, or illness.

Attorney for Domestic Violence in Polk County, FL

If you are accused of a crime involving violence within a familial or intimate partner relationship, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for Polk County, FL, at Sammis Law Firm.

We also represent the respondent who is served with a petition for a protective order against domestic violence.

Call 813-250-0500.


Determining the Existance of the Domestic Relationship

When a violent act is committed by a person against another who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • the length of the relationship;
  • the type of the relationship; and
  • the frequency of interaction between persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence Injunctions for Protection in Polk County

In these cases, the alleged victim will often petition the court for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. The petition for the protective order is filed at the Clerk of Court, Domestic Violence Department, 1st Floor, Polk County Courthouse in Bartow.

The Clerk’s Office will help the petitioner fill out the petition for the restaining order. If the allegations are sufficient, the judge will enter a Temporary Order for Protection Against Domestic Violence after reviewing the petition.

The grounds for the injunction for protection against domestic violence requires the petitioner and respondent reside together as a family or have lived together with you in the past as if they were a family member and identify as:

  • a spouse or former spouse;
  • a person related by blood or marriage;
  • a person who has lived together with you as though they were your spouse; or
  • a person with whom you have had a child together, even if you have never lived together.

If the temporary order is granted, the respondent must be personally served with a copy of the petition, the notice of the hearing, and a copy of the temporary injunction. The formal hearing on the petition is scheduled within 15 days.


Additional Resources

Domestic Violence in Polk County – Visit the website of the Polk County Clerk of Court, Stacy M. Butterfield, to find out more about domestic violence crimes. Find answers to frequently asked questions such as the following: What is an injunction? Where can I obtain an injunction? What happens after the judge grants the temporary injunction? Find out how the petitioner files a petition for an “Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence” on the first floor at the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, FL.

Domestic Violence Shelters in Polk County – Visit the website of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) to learn more about the Home Centers Peace River Center Domestic Violence Shelter (Peace River). The mission of Peace River Center’s Victim Services’ Program is to reduce the number of domestic and sexual violence within the Tri-County area.


This article was last updated on Friday, December 7, 2018.

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